How to get the best creative ideas from your teams?

Introducing Product in a box.

Product in a box is an activity that brought us very good results. It’s fun, creative, and allows disparate teams to focus on a common goal.

It is also a great activity to help teams understand business objectives and how they can influence potential users and buyers.

It will help answer questions such as what product am I going to sell? What would the box look like? How would I convince potential users that my product is better?

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

When you go to a supermarket, grocery store or a Home Depot store, the boxes in the rack have all the information for you to make a buying decision. 

What kind of story does it tell? What benefits does it emphasize? What kind of images are used to convince you?

There are several ways to approach this activity, and since everyone has their recipe, this is ours:

Getting Started:

  • Place. Find a large space, where you can have several separate tables with a couple of chairs. That’s where all the action will happen.
  • Elements. markers or pens, sheets, and a white cardboard box (the size of a cereal box) or else, a cardboard box lined with a white sheet of paper.
  • Team. Assemble heterogeneous teams with people from different areas and knowledge, Marketing, Business, IT, etc. Teams should be composed of 3 to 5 people.

Tip: When putting together the teams, be mindful about roles. Putting 2 bosses in a team could have a negative impact on the performance of that team. The idea is that they do not have any conditioning so that everyone will feel comfortable and can exploit their creativity.

Kick-off

We start the activity by bringing all the teams together under the same slogan and objective. If necessary, we add market information, statistics or any data that helps to understand the challenge as an introduction.

Time to get Creative

We start with a brainstorming session, we like to use this format but you can use whatever you want.

We hand out several sheets to the participants and ask them to divide them into 6 equal parts. They then have 5 minutes to sketch ideas with simple drawings in each division and 5 more minutes to share the ideas (exposing one by one) with the rest of the table. This cycle is done 2 times.

Voting. Each participant of the team has 4 votes to choose the best ideas according to their criteria, only one vote can be used per idea.

Draw. Each team has 20/30 minutes to draw on the box and get it ready to be displayed on a shelf in a store. The box has to answer the following questions:

  • Who is the target audience? 
  • What is the name of the product?
  • What is the slogan?
  • What images would you show?
  • What are the most important features?
  • What are the benefits?

Selling your product

When teams have finished creating their boxes, a team representative will sell their box to the other teams. Give them a stage and a limited amount of time to present the box (say 5 minutes).

We recommend that “Sellers” focus their pitch on answering these questions:

  • What problem does it solve?
  • What audience is it aimed at?
  • What makes it different from its competitors?
  • Reasons why our product and/or service will be successful in the market?

Tip: To enhance creativity and give it a more formal framework, the “competition” format is ideal. In some cases we add company directors to be judges and choose the winning product. Then, the chosen team will be able to take a gift as a prize.

In a nutshell, Product in a box is more than just an activity to generate ideas.

This methodology allows different people, together with their colleagues, to work together and contribute their business know-how in innovative solutions. In addition, it generates a sense of belonging to the project and helps us get out of the day to day and think outside the box.